The Country of the Blind: The Soviet System of Mind Control

By George S. Counts; Nucia Lodge | Go to book overview

CHAPTER NINE
INTELLECTUALS AS SOLDIERS -- ABROAD

THE ALL-UNION COMMUNIST PARTY recognizes the value to their cause of foreign intellectuals -- of teachers, journalists, writers, artists, scientists, and even clergymen. They cultivate these people partly because of their prestige value and partly because of their active rôle in the shaping of public opinion in free societies. All of this is peculiarly in the Russian revolutionary tradition. The point was emphasized in an earlier chapter that the men and women who conducted the century-long struggle to overthrow the autocracy of the tsar were neither workers nor peasants nor traders. They belonged or thought of themselves as belonging to the intelligentsia as Kaftanov uses the term -- a particular species of the intelligentsia, to be sure, but of the intelligentsia nevertheless.

In the Soviet Union the Party rules the intelligentsia without masks and with an iron hand. As the documents of this volume demonstrate, the Central Committee makes no pretense of valuing or guarding the creative independence of the members of this class. Thy have no "right to make mistakes." Their "freedom" is limited to doing precisely what they are told to do by the Party of Lenin and Stalin in the spirit of the good soldier. They are expected to accept correction with a smile, a salute to the Central Committee, and an expression of undying faith and loyalty to Stalin. In case of a severe reprimand they can reinstate themselves in grace only by figuratively getting down on their knees and kissing the feet of the Party, while placing the right hand reverently

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